The other day Cooper told me, "I'm almost sixteen, Momma."
"No way! You're never going to be sixteen. You're going to stay my little boy forever."
"Nooo, I am going to be sixteen. But don't worry, Mom, I'll still have the same name. And I'll still be the same boy."
What do I do with that? The way time has been moving lately, I believe it. He is almost sixteen. And I sure hope that when that sixteenth birthday rolls around he is still the same boy, because he's my very favorite.
We went on a date the other night, and for now I'm glad I'm the only girl that gets to say that. Matt and Madeline bonded at Home Depot, while Cooper and I loaded up the jogging stroller and ran to the children's museum. I hadn't run with him in the jogger since before Madeline was born, and homeboy has gained some weight! Not only that, but he's much more into keeping up a conversation. Halfway through the run he asked what I dreamed about last night, and periodically he'd go, "Mom, run faster! You're not going very fast!"
Running fast while pushing 35 pounds up a hill in a jogging stroller, swerving through crowds, and trying to remember if I had any dreams last night to explain to a three-year-old. I need some more practice at that. We'll have to have another date soon.;)
[I told him I dreamed about New York City, which made for a great few minutes of chatter. Cooper loves New York City, and asks to visit often. A love for manhattan: It's part of our family value system.]
The highlight of the museum that night was the caterpillar display, with so many large caterpillars to watch and touch.
It was dark when we left, and we grabbed a late dinner of soup and sandwiches next door and sat outside by the water to eat. Eating outside in the dark that night is one of my new favorite memories with Cooper.
And then we rode the T home. You know when you ask someone, "How much do you love me?" and that person throws his arms open as wide as they go and says, "Thiiiiis much!"? That is what Cooper does when you ask how much he loves the train. It was the perfect topper for the evening.
The next night I went on a date with my other favorite guy, which also started with a run, and ended with dinner outside in the dark. I may not be original, but it was a really, really good weekend.
I haven't had any dates lately with my favorite girl, but I did sign Cooper up for preschool this fall, and I'm really looking forward to some one-on-one time with her. Maybe we'll take an art or a music class. Maybe we'll just play at the playground, or go on runs together. I just feel like the world will be ours (at least for two mornings a week). Our days rarely revolve around what will be most fun for just her, and she deserves a little more of that.
The other week she climbed from my bed onto the windowsill, and stood there totally still for a few minutes, foot popped just so, scanning the street.
And my new favorite picture of her is from a beach day a few weeks back:
Here's Cooper the same day:
And both of them chasing the waves.
Life has felt slow since we came back from Utah. We've been laying low, hashing out life decisions, enjoying our little family, and playing in water as much as possible. Last weekend we went to Walden Pond, and then a couple of days later I took the kids back and got ice cream afterward at our favorite nearby ice cream stand. Now I'm contemplating driving back out there tonight just because I want more. Their mint & cookies flavor is that good.
Speaking of ice cream, in between my trip to Iowa and our travel to Utah, was the annual Scooper Bowl at City Hall Plaza. You pay (to charity) to enter, and get all-you-can-eat ice cream from the various ice cream stores in the area that participate. It is really our family's kind of party.
Somewhere in there, we spent a weekend in New Hampshire with friends in the most charming little lake town, which also happens to be one of my favorite places on earth. One of the homes there has an amazing water slide that we're lucky enough to take advantage of occasionally. Matt took this really flattering shot of me mid-jump.;)
In between all of this, we've had evenings at the park:
^^We were taking turns giving each other high fives as we slid down.
We attach the hose to our bathroom sink and run it through the window to our patio to fill the pool. The greatest part about this is that we can adjust the temp, so our kids don't have to deal with freezing-cold hose water like all of those poor kids who have real backyards.;) Sometimes on cooler evenings, we turn it into an all-out hot tub, and I've got to admit, I'm tempted to hop in myself one of these nights.
^^This is a sight we won't be seeing much of anymore because Cooper is potty trained. We even went to the toy store today to pick out his prize. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but waiting until he wanted to do it, at just over three, worked great for us. We've been at it for almost two weeks now, and he's had two accidents, one of which was on the very first day, and both were at home, which made it easy. Also, we never went through a "stay at home all day phase," which was so nice for me. We did a few days where every time we were at home he'd go diaperless, and every time we left he'd wear a diaper. Then when I thought he had the hang of it, we switched to never wearing diapers during the day, but still going out and about and living our lives, and he handled it like a pro.
And, I finally booked myself a hair appointment after almost a year. I like it but it's not nearly as blonde as I want, so I may have to head back in to the salon soon. Afterward, I took a selfie in a hat, but not because I wanted to hide my hair. I just needed an opinion on the hat; you know how it goes.